My three-year-old cousin, Harry was sprawled on the sofa. For the past 30 minutes, he was pestering me to read him the storybook Hansel and Gretel. He clapped his chubby hand and gave an angelic smile; he was very cute but one should not forget that he could still win over the naughtiest kids in town!
I was very excited as it was my birthday and my aunt and her son Harry had already come over. My mum asked me to read him the story so I reluctantly agreed and started reading while the restless Harry kept doing things that were getting on my nerves but all I could do was try and ignore it.
My mum was baking my favourite cake. So when the lovely aroma from the oven filled the air, the story also finished and I sighed in relief.
“Can I have some biscuits,” said Harry.
I gave a couple to him thoughtlessly. He started to fling crumbs on the floor. “I am Hansel,” he shouted.
“Hey, stop, be Gretel,” I said angrily. His eyes sparkle naughtily as he ran away and came back with my old tattered plastic witch. She was wearing a hat and was smiling cheekily.
Harry picked the doll with her torn emerald gown and said, “Witch! Witch! I will push you in the oven!”
I thought he would just pretend to do this, so I started reading a book.
Soon the smell of rubber burning filled the air. I ran to the kitchen, I couldn’t understand from where the smell was coming but when I looked inside the oven, I saw my doll half-submerged in the cake, half-burned. Harry had ruined my cake by pushing a toy witch inside it. The feeling of anger and sorrow welled up in my heart as I realised it was partly my fault. I had told him to be Gretel. I mourned loudly at my silly mistake while Harry came grinning cheekily.
I picked him up and gave him a tight hug so he couldn’t breathe.
“Your punishment,” I said and roared with laughter at his tomato red face. We both laughed as we left the kitchen happily. I told my mum and aunt what had happened. My aunt scolded Harry severely for two reasons: one for ruining the cake and the other for touching the oven.
“No, no, it was partly my fault,” I begged in order to save Harry. Her face softened and she picked up her purse and went to the nearest cake shop and got a beautiful cake, the best I had ever seen and tasted.
The chocolate melted in my mouth as Harry ate the pink, purple and blue icing joyfully. Well, all I can say is that it ended well so I have nothing to complain about.
Published in Dawn, Young World, February 23rd, 2019